28 September 2011

Why We Really Love Fall

We often ask each other,
"What's your favorite thing about fall?"

I really don't think it's possible to
narrow this down to one thing.
The cool weather, the colors of the leaves, 
sweaters, soups, apples--and the pumpkins!

The gourds and the pumpkins!
Hot chocolate, cider and lattes.

Quilts and snuggling beneath them

 and oh, yes! 
 Roaring and crackling in the fireplace:
a beautiful fire.

And so, in trying to sum up this answer, I thought,
"Aren't we just naturally 'nesters' "?
During the summer we journey out--
to ballgames, the pool, a lake, vacation, the zoo,
even just out working in our yard and in our gardens.

But fall finds us beginning to settle back in,
doing everything we need
to make sure the winter finds us prepared.

We make our quilts, preserve our food,
clean up our gardens & stack the wood.

We bring back order from the chaos
that summer brought to our lives.

Very soon we will be "cozied" back in our homes.

Once again, we'll be among the things
that bring us warmth, peace and contentment,
especially when we know just how much
work and love has gone into
the preparation of these "nests". 

Jane Austen put it very simply:
"There is no place like home
for true comfort."

This is the time we come back.
This is when we come home
Who wouldn't love everything about fall?

Photo Credits: 

The Lettered Cottage

Weekend Bloggy Reading

26 September 2011

Blessings & Welcome Pillows

I've been meaning to make these for
a year now.  Today, I'm happy to say that
I completed them--and moved more
"stuff" out of my sewing room! 
(you know I'm just making room for new fabric, don't you?) 
Check yet another project off the list! 
Yay, me!  On. A. Roll!

I first cut out stencils on the cricut
using just regular scrapbook paper.
(If you want "cleaner" lines, I would use vinyl for the
 stencil.  I was going for more of a stamped or rustic
look so I wasn't worried so much about the paint
seeping out under the paper.)

Then tape the stencils down on the fabric.
(I didn't like the extra space between the "n" and "g"
so I cut some of it out)

Using acrylic craft paint, carefully paint
over the stencils.  
(The inner loop comes out of the l's and the e's
when removing it from the paper--
I just guessed and made my own "holes".)  

Then start playing with the ribbons
to achieve the look you want.

I really liked the orange dotted one but I wanted
to be able to bring this one out year-round. 

Sew the ribbons in place

and the pillows together.

If you're an up-cycler and/or thrifty, here
you can cut up an old bed pillow.  Use the
outer lining of it to make a form the size
you need and then fill it with the stuffing from
the bed pillow.  Free pillow form.  Love it. 
Esp when they are just headed
to the front porch!
(and your keeping them out of the landfill!)

Here they are on our loveseat.
Tomorrow, I'm cleaning our very dusty porch, 
swing and windows so that I
can actually put them out there.

Autumn blessings to you and your home.

Strictly Homemade Tuesday

The Lettered Cottage

More Autumn Around The House

Still waiting on more of the pumpkins
and gourds to ripen completely

(maybe this weekend?)
but I thought I'd throw a few more
fall decor pics out there. 

Don't you just love the warm colors of fall?

I get inspired to make things like this:

and this:

and then some of this:

This one has been around for a few years,
gracing our front door every fall.  Our house faces
southeast so I'm afraid the morning sun
has faded it but I still love it. 

What are you creating today?
Need more pumpkin inspiration?

Confessions of a SAHM

The Lettered Cottage

21 September 2011

A Couple of Quilt Bloopers -- A Little Honesty

Good morning!

Yesterday I layered the stacked-coins quilt
(I really need to get a name for it!). 
I pieced together this backing out of some
black/white fabric that I've had FOREVER--YAY!
It matched the theme perfectly
and I was extremely happy to move it out

I didn't have quite enough so I pieced in some black
(I really don't like solids anyway, so move it out!). 
Don't you LOVE this patching idea that
seems to be really popular? 
Makes my job of "using what I have"
sooo much thriftier easier! 

Now, here's how I put a quilt together. 
I know there are other ways
but this seems to work well for me. 
First I slide over our dining room table
and then go to work
taping the bottom layer down first. 

With the piecing of the backing, I came up
with this little method of making sure
the front was in line with the back.
I use masking tape to mark a "line-up" point
 on the top and bottom of the back.

...making sure it's long enough to stick out
from under the batting.
I'll then line these up to one of the strips
of "coins" on the top of the quilt.

And now....we'll interrupt this wonderful time
set aside for basting a quilt together
 for a wee little, ahem, blooper. 

Here's the batting that I bought....and
on top of it?  That's my quilt. 
Hanging over about an inch.  OY! 
I can honestly say that I've never
done this one before.  Sigh.
(Do Fons & Porter ever do these things???)
SO, stop everything and run to the store....

Ah, much better.

Until...yep.  ANOTHER ONE.  TWO in one day. 
I am so ashamed.  Can I blame 
these on the fact that I just
turned an age...well, I don't think I want
to give my age anymore, tho it rhymes with
...uh....um....sorty?  (*sagging shoulders*)

So, yes, I was basting along *baste, baste*
and there it was.  Upside down.  
Those darned white-on-white fabrics! 
Nope, haven't done this one before either. 
(Eleanor Burns???) 
 I tried hard to be optimistic here. 
Well, it WAS right on the outside
and therefore somewhat easy to fix.
In fact, it only took me about 20 mins.  
 It really could've been worse.  Which
has me thinking:  all of those link parties
out there...I need to figure those out
and then maybe I should have a 
craft and/or quilting bloopers linky!

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors
and laugh at them in our turn?"
--Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice 

But maybe it's not a good idea to focus on our errors?

Well, I have a date with my
sewing machine and I'm already late. 
Happy quilting!

17 September 2011

Road Trip: A Fall Arts & Crafs Fair

It was wonderfully cold and stormy
this morning when we headed up to 
Fortunately, the rain stopped an hour
 before the show "officially" opened.


Look at all of the early-birds getting their worms!
I think the shoppers show up earlier every year. 
(Note that I was there to note this...!)

I love to watch for the true artisan who
has a real passion for the craft. 
For me, they just really stand out.

I obtained permission from this amazing knitter
for a picture but I promised to show
just a glimpse--no giving any real ideas away. 

This is Knitting Novelties out of Nebraska.
Someday I'd love to be able to make such beautiful
accessories, espcially the purses and hats
 Creative, unique &, tho I'm no expert,
 the quality of the wool struck me as "worth it"!

I'm lucky in that my DH loves for me to wear hats
so I have a bit of a carte blanche there.   
There were fun hats with big beautiful flowers
clipped on them and all with great colors,
style and decor.  Ever the practical one (sigh)
ended up choosing a hat that I thought
would be the best match for my wardrobe.  
I just wish this picture did better justice to it. 

Think I'll have to go find a flower, tho!  
(I spoke with the artist for a bit and learned that
 "Brown Sheep Wool" is her yarn of choice for felting because its
shrinkage is very consistant.  Good to know, and I'm filing
 that away for when I'm ready to try that technique!)
Will definately look for her again next year.

Just a side note:  I think it's a blast to discuss
their crafts with them.  A true artist loves
 to share his/her wisdom, and will certainly
enjoy compliments and encouragement as well. 

I didn't get pictures of my other favorites
but here are just a couple of the items
 that came home with me.

Doesn't this table runner look, well, home-y?
I really do try to bring more contemporary colors
and styles into my home but those
traditional ones still keep grabbing me. 

Right now it's on top of my dresser where
I think it will work well to protect the wood from
candles and my Scentsy.

I'm such a sucker for bath products!  
I've dipped into this craft a little but I'm pretty jealous
of the serious artisan here.  There is such
a wide range of natural ingredients
to choose from--most are easily obtained,
probably from own my gardens.
Add that to the bucket list...

This crafter had so many to choose from
that I can't believe I kept it to 4.  Hmmm.
Teachers' gifts?  Stocking stuffers? 
Uh...me???  LOL

We felt made some great aquisitions and each
walked away with a bag that runneth o'er. 
  Usually this is the only show that I will take
time out for but it was so fun to support these 
artists that I may try to fit in another. 
Yup, we did our part in "buying local" today.  :o)

16 September 2011

Crazy Halloween Quilt

I completed this quilt top today-- 
I just started piecing it several days ago. 

Remember my "make it with what I have" rule?
What do you think?  Was I okay to stick with it
or is this just too crazy? 
Shouldn't Halloween be a little crazy?

Have a fall project to share?
Cauldron Crafts Fall Project Link Party

15 September 2011

If You Got the Notion...

I keep just my favorite notions & supplies on
an old baker's rack in my sewing room. 

This antique (I'm assuming) silk thread suprised me
one day by showing up in the mail.

Any ideas of what to do with it? 

I will say, it makes me completely happy
 just how it is,
sitting in this jar on my shelves

But, should they remain just part of a collection?

And, if they are as antique as they look,
how is the quality and strength at this point?

Here is another collection: 
A whole set of DPN's, 0 - 7, all in the original packages.
(there are more back behind that are hard to see)
39 cents??

 When I was about 14, I was given a huge box
of yarn, needles and other supplies.  WOW. 
  I weeded out the yarn but, after I married,
 I dragged every one of those needles
with me to several different states and
4 different houses till I FINALLY
learned how to knit!  
How happy I was to find that I had almost
every needle I'd ever need! 

Most are pictured here but there are others
with my projects/knitting tote. 

Anyone else find their notions to be
more interesting than just "supplies"?
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